Debris cleanup 95% complete after Bryan Co. tornado

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Clean up continues in Bryan County. Crews say they are making substantial headway in collecting most of the debris from this month’s tornado.

It has been a busy past few weeks for crews as they’ve been working to clear debris from areas affected by that tornado, a job that they say is now 95 percent completed.

Crews now saying they’ve collected nearly all vegetative and construction debris from this month’s tornado.

County officials credit the aid of neighboring communities for helping speed up the process.

“They sent trucks here to Bryan County, and were a big part, along with the Bryan County staff, as far as collecting that debris and bringing it back to Hendrix Park,” Bryan County Public Works Director Matthew Montanye said.

This is where all that debris has been coming to - this massive debris pile at Hendrix Park totaling about 40,000 cubic yards.

“But we’re also in the neighborhood of 2-3 thousand tons of construction debris that we’ve already collected and hauled off to the landfill,” Montanye said.

It’s been a grueling two weeks for crews. Truck load by truck load, they’ve been collecting that debris and adding to the pile at Hendrix Park.

And while some come from out of town, for other crew members, the cleanup effort hits home.

“We actually grew up here. I’m from Ellabell, so is the owner of the company. So, for us to actually see the damage and be able to help out with it, it’s amazing,” said Daniel Zipperer, with Coursey’s Tree Service.

But the cleanup comes at a price.

“Unfortunately, this storm did not meet the federal declaration to be a FEMA declared event. So it is something that falls on the shoulders of the county,” Montayne said.

But officials say they’re using county staff and service donations from tree companies and neighboring communities.

“What that does is it brings the cost down for the taxpayers of the county,” Montayne said.

As for the crews working the cleanup, seeing the community come together is what makes it worth it.

“The people that have come out to help, the amount of people from other counties and other towns, it’s just wonderful the way everything worked out afterwards,” Zipperer said.

Crews are asking that if there is any lingering debris to call the county’s Public Works Office at 912-653-4511.

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